Cold Frame, Potting Soil, Monsanto Lawsuit Update

Cold Frame!

Happy February, everyone.  Thank you to all of you who have signed up so far.  For those of you who mean to but haven’t gotten a chance yet, the brochure is under the “2012 Sign Up” tab on this site, or email/call Wes, and we’d be glad to mail a brochure to you.

We’ve been busy, as always, with getting ready for the season.  What’s going on in that photo up there, you say?  Well, that’s Wes installing the last leg of the CSA’s new 12’x24′ cold frame structure.   The cold frame will be an unheated, plastic-covered space where our seedlings will “harden off” after a few weeks of cushy incubation in the warmer greenhouse.  You can see the greenhouse in the background–it’s the hard-plastic, sloped structure attached to the barn.  A more familiar-looking cold frame would be shaped like a tunnel, likely constructed of bent PVC pipes.  The reason we have this gothic-shaped structure is because Jay actually had it lying around!  When a neighbor sold some of his land, this former tractor shed was abandoned in the woods, and so Jay, being a frugal farmer, saved it for potential future projects.   It was a fair amount of work and creative reconstruction to get this thing together the way we wanted it, but it’s up and stable.  In the next few days, we will build the end faces where the doors will be.  Today, we are ordering the greenhouse film to cover it.  Exciting!

Screening potting soil

Soon we’ll be seeding some of our crops, and at Four Winds Farm, we produce our own potting mix.  We’ve been helping out Jay a bit with the soil screening process.  This means we get to hang out in the steamy greenhouse and rub lumpy compost against a screen, discard the woodchips and other large matter, and voila!  We end up with the softest, most luscious potting soil you’ve ever run your hands through.  This compost has been decomposing in the greenhouse for the last year or so, as part of a continual cycle that Jay has down pat.  As some of you might know, Jay’s greenhouse is particularly great because it has no energy inputs and is partially heated by the compost.  We can’t wait to get our onion seeds in that soil.

Our last entry included a little information about the OSGATA vs. Monsanto lawsuit, an attempt to protect farmers from being sued by Monsanto for unwitting seed patent infringement.   There was an initial hearing last Tuesday, in which Monsanto requested that the case be dismissed.  The judge listened to arguments from both sides, and will decide within the next two months.  It is heartening to read reports of the hundreds of concerned folks who were outside the courthouse to support the farmers in their fight against the agri-giant.  Here’s a press release from OSGATA:

Enjoy all this lovely sunshine!

Bryn and Wes

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